June 3, 2016

Chicago (June 3)—A formal complaint initiated by SMART-TD has resulted in potential civil penalties for the Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS). The violations stem from a November 2015 incident in which an IAIS manager failed to properly record his commingled service.

In a May 26, 2016 letter to SMART-TD Illinois State Director Robert W. Guy, the FRA Region VI, on behalf of Regional Administrator Steve Fender, verified that on November 16, 2015 an IAIS Road Foreman (RFE) performed covered service, and while the manager did properly keep a daily record of the days he performed service, he did not keep the required monthly record of his service, which ultimately led to the violation.

It was SMART-TD Local #258 Legislative Representative Tracey Frerichs who first notified Guy of the potential violation in an email on December 6, 2015.

“I want to commend Brother Frerichs for his continued commitment to his local members and knowledge of the reporting requirements for managers who perform covered service,” Guy said.

“In his report, Tracey detailed how an IAIS Road Foreman performed covered service by copying mandatory directives and operating switches,” Guy said.

“The RFE initially informed the crew that he was going to conduct a ‘check ride’ for the engineer,” Guy said. “But then he performed covered service since he instructed the Conductor to operate his motor vehicle to an industry down the line that the job was going to work, leaving the manager to fulfil the duties of the Conductor.”

Qualified managers can perform covered service, but have to report that service and keep a daily and monthly log of that commingled service.

“Once again, Brother Frerichs did a great job of gathering the facts and detailing them so FRA could act accordingly,” Guy said.

“When we provide factual and timely documentation regarding potential federal violations we are very successful in getting citations against the carrier,” Guy said. “That, in turn, helps put the carrier on notice that our members know how the system works and are willing and able to let that process work for them.”

“It should also serve as a reminder to the carriers that they should think twice when contemplating skirting federal requirements,” Guy said.

“This latest violation could have been a simple oversight,” Guy said. “But for the sake of our member safety and security, we must hold the carrier to the same high standards that they hold our members to.”